Searching for The Ray of Light and the Fine Moon | Alex Folasa-Tuioti

A father passes through dreams to discover his own.

Searching for The Ray of Light and The Fine Moon

By Alex Folasa-Tuioti

For The What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Award

He is haunted by the same question that had plagued him for the greater part of his 40-years; “what kind of man are you?” Knowing that he (and he alone) was responsible for the destruction of his family became the noose always threatening to tighten around his neck and as he walked the darkened streets in the cold and rain, he wondered yet again if the best course of action was to end it all by his own hand. The question burned and tortured him incessantly, any will or strength to overcome the guilt and disgust had long since abated. The only hope in his darkened days came from a ray of light he had once held in his arms, his eldest. The only light in his blackened and charred nights came from the slithers of silver from the Fine Moon, his youngest. It was all his memory of them would allow.
For the extent of his forced exile, he chooses to remain in the savage storm raging at him. The thunder abuses him with words stinging and stabbing at his heart, as if they were from a most trusted companion and lover. The lightning strikes at him constantly like he had on numerous occasions struck out at the one person who had given him the greatest gift of all. He had no fight left. To him, it was befitting of a father lost, befitting of a partner scorned and left to his own ugly devices, left to his own ugly heart. The answer to his question comes to him and he screams at the storm, at the world, and at the ugliness inside him. He falls to his knees, as if to pray for forgiveness. He does not ask for reprieve, he makes no request for mercy. There can be none for such a man.
Exhaustion takes over him and into the land of the never-ending plane of dreams he is forcibly taken. He sees her face. She is in tears. On her face is an expression of hurt, fear and of loathing. Her cheek, once kissed and caressed lovingly now bruised and bloodied by the hand of the man she had gifted her heart, her whole being to. In every dream, she backs away, wanting nothing but to distance herself from him, to distance herself from such ugliness. Words are being exchanged, but he cannot hear what is being said through the tempest of his own broken mind. His memory of such blackened days engulfs him with self-loathing; the exchange comes to him clearly as if the day has repeated itself. The dream comes to an abrupt end and as ever, the question to which he knows the answer to re-emerges; what kind of man are you?

As his ray of light and his fine moon walked ahead of him, he could not comprehend the emotion in his heart. With all the years lost, the time wasted, he could see that the little human beings he had once held in his arms years before were now young women. His Fine Moon was now coming to the end of her teen years and his Ray of Light leading a family of her own. Still struggling with the years he had lost, he knew that it was something he would never master, never overcome.
A new question pressed at his heart. What kind of woman are you? He asked himself as tears begun to well-up in his eyes. They fell down his face as he answered his own question. His children had been raised alone by their mother and irrespective of what he felt for his own part in all that had transpired, he felt nothing but love, admiration and respect for her. She had guarded the two lives so precious to him; he couldn’t imagine such strength, such determination. He knew without a shadow of a doubt that the mother of his children had navigated the darkness he had left them all in with courage and love, with poise and composure.
Knowing it was time to move on; he knew he had to have some strength to have had overcome the years of self-imposed darkness. Acknowledging that it was the love he had for his children that had got him through and although he could never speak of it anymore, he knew in his heart that he would always love the mother of his children. Albeit a love she and the world would never be able to comprehend, he would forever be indebted to her. For he knew now what kind of man he was and the kind of man he wanted to be. What kind of man are you?